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Proud to be ‘lawbreakers’: union boss

A powerful trade union official has made inflammatory remarks that could have major implications for politics and business.

An official of the Maritime Union of Australia – which is set to merge with the controversial Construction, Forestry, Maritime, Mining and Energy Union (CFMEU) – has made an explosive speech which could have broad implications for Australian business and politics.

In a video obtained by Your Money senior journalist Leo Shanahan and aired on TICKY tonight (viewable above), MUA branch secretary Paul McAleer is heard to say he and his “comrades” are “proud that they tell us that we’re lawbreakers”.

Paul McAleer is president of the powerful MUA Sydney branch.
Paul McAleer is president of the powerful MUA Sydney branch. (AAP Image/Helen Velissaris)

“This is what breaking unjust laws looks like,” the union boss said. “There is not a law big enough and ugly enough in this country that we can’t fight it.”

Commenting on the exclusive footage, Shanahan said the speech was the first indication of just how powerful the combined CFMEU-MUA sees itself as being.

He said it was “problematic for both the current government and a potential future Labor government”.

TICKY host Ticky Fullerton said the union’s militant approach could have major implications for business and politics by way of the influence of its senior officials.

The revelation follows Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) secretary Sally McManus telling the ABC in March 2017 that if a law is “unjust” there’s “no problem with breaking it”.

Follow our rolling coverage via the Your Money livestream:  https://www.yourmoney.com.au/watch/live/


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